Scrap­page scheme pays off for Hyundai as i10 sales rocket

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - NEWS -

WHAT is the only South Korean car in the Bri­tish top 10 sell­ers?

It is a stubby lit­tle 56mpg, five-door hatch­back from Hyundai. called the i10, with prices from £7,725. It sold 11,088 in the first three months, tak­ing ninth spot just be­hind the Re­nault Clio and pip­ping the Mini by 61 units. (Source: SMMT).

Hyundai sold 15,241 cars in March alone and is one of the com­pa­nies which did re­ally well with sales un­der the Gov­ern­ment/in­dus­try £2,000 scrap­page fee, which ended on March 31 af­ter nine months.

This re­bate has gen­er­ated sales through au­tumn, win­ter and early spring. Ford did best of all, and its Fi­esta was the quar­ter’s best seller (35,802) fol­lowed by Fo­cus (27,977), Corsa (23,267), As­tra (22,925), Golf (16,950), Polo (15,187) and Peu­geot 207 (14,201).

Sales in March were up 26.6 per cent, to 397,383 (al­beit com­pared with a poor March in 2009) and scrap­page deals ac­counted for 12.2 per cent. UK-built cars were up 52 per cent in the month. Scrap­page sales were 14.4pc in the first quar­ter, with to­tal sales up 27.3pc, at 611,548, split just about equally be­tween high-profit pri­vate pur­chases and heav­ily dis­counted fleet and busi­ness sales.

It is any­body’s guess what will hap­pen fol­low­ing the end­ing of the scrap­page scheme. The omens are not good, though some car­mak­ers, in­clud­ing Hyundai and its, part­ner Kia, are of­fer­ing carry-over in­cen­tives.

Most high-end car­mak­ers have taken very few scrap­page cars. Porsche re­ported just 16, for ex­am­ple, no doubt a garage-clear­ing ex­er­cise for own­ers rather than a fi­nan­cial ne­ces­sity.

Land Rover’s March sales were the high­est monthly to­tal in its 62 years, up 67pc to reach 11,300. Global sales were up 43pc in March and 36.6pc for the first quar­ter. Boom­ing mar­kets are China, Korea, Switzer­land, Turkey and Brazil. China is the third largest buyer af­ter the UK and US.

Manag­ing di­rec­tor Phil Popham says: “The sales in­crease is mainly ow­ing to the phe­nom­e­nal re­sponse re­ceived from cus­tomers and me­dia to the award­win­ning 2010 model year Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Dis­cov­ery 4 and Free­lander 2. It is the most ef­fi­cient and tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced line-up of ve­hi­cles Land Rover has ever had.”

Its brethren at Jaguar did well in the cir­cum­stances. Both the XF and XK boomed in the first quar­ter and in March, though the dis­con­tin­u­a­tion of the X-Type and awaited re­place­ment for the XJ took the pol­ish off over­all sales, which were ahead by only 1.1 per cent in March. Its XF is a huge solo suc­cess.

The boost in sales of UK-built cars came from the Ellesmere Port As­tra fac­tory, from Jaguar, Land Rover, Honda, Toy­ota and Nis­san – the lat­ter with 81pc of its sales from Sun­der­land is the big­gest maker of cars in Bri­tain. Its best-seller is the re­cently re­vised Qashqai.

Nis­san’s own scrap­page-in­spired of­fer pro­vides a min­i­mum £2,000 trade-in against a Bri­tish-built Nis­san for any model over seven years old.

WIN­NERS: Hyundai’s i10 and Land Rover’s lat­est Dis­cov­ery.

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